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May 16, 2017

HTC U11 official, pressure-sensitive sides, noise cancellation and Alexa

by John_A

After months of speculation and leaks, HTC has finally announced its new flagship smartphone: the HTC U11.

Originally codenamed Ocean and often referred to simply as HTC U, the phone was launched in Taipei today.

It comes in a unibody design, with aluminium back and fused front glass, to give it a sleek, smart look. It is also IP67 rated, meaning it is water and dustproof.

There’s an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 running the show.

The HTC U11’s main feature, that strikes it apart from rivals, is Edge Sense: the ability to be interacted with through a squeeze. Applications and the camera can be started through applying pressure to the sides.

The rear camera has a 12-megapixel UltraPixel sensor and five-axis optical image stabilisation is of benefit to still and video capture. It can record clips in 4K with 24-bit audio recording.

A 16-megapixel snapper is on the front, much like the version on the HTC U Ultra.

  • Watch the official HTC U11 launch event here, live

Different levels of pressure on the sides can be used for different functions, using the camera and other features.

Pictures can be taken by squeezing the sides of the phone, for example. Alternatively, you can use it in combination with a voice command.

The HTC U11 has both Google Assistant and Alexa support for the US, UK and Germany, which both work with the Edge Sense functionality.

HTC BoomSound – Hi-Fi Edition audio is on board, to improve the stereo performance of the phone, plus active noise cancellation for when you use headphones. An on-board microphone reads ambient noise and sends counteracting signals to the included ear-buds so you get a more immersive, isolation sound.

The buds connect via USB-C as there’s no headphone port on the phone. An adapter is included in the box for those who want to use their existing headset.

It comes in five colours: amazing silver, sapphire blue, brilliant black, ice white and solar red.

Price is yet to be revealed, but it has been confirmed that availability in some regions will start next week. A full rollout will happen in June.

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